Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan’s name is derived from the Ojibwa word Michi Gami, meaning “large lake.”

It spans the entire west coast of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, and it is the only one of the five Great Lakes that is located entirely within the United States. 

Michigan’s third largest lake with a water surface area of 22,300 square miles, Lake Michigan’s expansive shoreline boasts several stunning dune regions. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is home to cascading sand dunes reaching as high as 450 feet above Lake Michigan. Others include Nordhouse Dunes at Ludington and Warren Dunes State Park near the Indiana state line, as well as the Gillette Sand Dune Visitor Center at P.J. Hoffmaster State Park in Muskegon.  The lake also contains numerous islands, notably the Beaver Island archipelago and the North and South Manitou Islands located between the Upper and Lower peninsulas.

There are 59 lighthouses that stand on the beaches of Lake Michigan as reminders of the importance of the centuries-old shipping industry, a story told well at the Michigan Maritime Museum in South Haven. Michigan's western Great Lakes region benefits from a unique climate, which creates a favorable environment for growing a wealth of agricultural products. The state is a leader in many crops including blueberries, cherries, asparagus and grapes for juice and wine. This has allowed a variety of orchards and vineyards to thrive along Lake Michigan. A trip isn’t complete without dipping your toes into the freshwater and watching a Pure Michigan sunset.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

With dunes taller than you can imagine above the sparkling waters of Lake Michigan, a variety of unique hiking trails and a scenic drive with breathtaking views, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a  must-see on your Lake Michigan adventure. 

Sleeping Bears Dunes National Lakeshore

More than 100 lighthouses line the beaches on Lake Michigan, and 59 of them are in Michigan. No matter your Lake Michigan destination, there are a plenty of lighthouses waiting to be explored.

Lake Michigan Lighthouses
State Parks
A trip to Michigan is not complete without sleeping under the stars in a Michigan State Park. Find the perfect campsite sand fall asleep to the sound of the waves crashing against the Lake Michigan shore. Don’t forget all the ingredients for s’mores.
Lake Michigan State Parks
The best way to explore all that Lake Michigan has to offer is by boat. Find the perfect place to rent, charter or launch a boat on Lake Michigan.
Boating on Lake Michigan
Paddle Sports
From kayaking to stand up paddleboarding, find the perfect place for your paddle sports adventure on Lake Michigan. If you need equipment, there are a variety of rental facilities to help you get out on the water. 
Paddle Sports on Lake Michigan
With Michigan’s ideal climate and growing conditions for a variety of grapes, a wine tour and tasting are perfect additions to your trip. Lake Michigan is home to the Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas, which are famously known for their many wineries.
Wineries on Lake Michigan
The Great Lakes
Read more about Michigan being the Great Lakes State, and explore Lake Erie, Huron, and Superior. 
The Great Lakes
Lake Erie
Michigan’s iconic mitten shape, like a handprint on the earth, was carved out by glaciers long ago...
Lake Superior
Located above Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world...
Lake Huron
Lake Huron was originally called La Mer Douce, or “the freshwater sea,” by French explorers. It...
Lake Michigan
Michigan’s iconic mitten shape, like a handprint on the earth, was carved out by glaciers long ago...